LONDON: Coca-Cola, an official sponsor of the recent FIFA World Cup, has emerged as the most recognised brand of the tournament, according to post-event research.

An online poll of 5,000 consumers in the UK and Brazil by Millward Brown's Consumer Neuroscience practice found the soft drinks giant was recognised as a sponsor by 81% of consumers in the UK and an impressive 92% in Brazil.

Furthermore, consumers associated Coke with the tournament 52% faster than average in Brazil and 34% faster than average in the UK.

Millward Brown's methodology involved measuring consumers' intuitive feelings about a brand, using the speed of reaction to questions as a test of the linkage between brand and event.

The research highlighted that while non-sponsor brands and those with an association with other football competitions scored highly before the event, they were subsequently outscored by official sponsors.

For example, both Nike and Champions League sponsor MasterCard were strongly associated with the World Cup in both the UK and Brazil before the tournament, but they were later outscored by official World Cup sponsors Visa and Adidas.

Visa "massively boosted positivity towards its brand with its sponsorship activity", the report said, rising by 300% in the UK, while MasterCard's emotional bond, which was initially higher in both markets, decreased as the tournament went on.

"This research shows that when brands try to piggy-back major events like the World Cup, they are not guaranteed success," said Sarah Walker, global director at Millward Brown's Neuromarketing practice.

"But the post-event wave of research showed that by its conclusion, consumers had intuitively grasped who was a genuine sponsor. It was these sponsors who then gained the most in terms of feelings of positivity," she added.

Another brand considered to be a winner from the event included Yingli, the Chinese solar power company.

Before the tournament, it was recognised by only one-in-ten consumers in the UK and 11% in Brazil, but then scored 21% in the UK and 30% in Brazil in the second wave of questioning, which took place just before the semi-finals and continued until the end of the final match between Germany and Argentina.

Data sourced from Millward Brown; additional content by Warc